The BMC guidelines cleared by the Bombay High Court Monday seek to protect the rights of the evicted occupants whose buildings are due for demolition.
“Such (evicted) tenant and/or occupier and/or owner will be entitled to reoccupy the premises in respect of the same area after the reconstruction of the building, subject to the prevalent provisions of law pertaining to redevelopment of the property or subject to any arrangement or agreement arrived at by and between such tenants and/or occupiers with the owner of the building,” the guidelines stated.
According to the guidelines, if the building that needs to be pulled down is owned by BMC, it will have to provide alternate accommodation to its occupants till the building is reconstructed. If it is a privately-owned building under the cessed category, the Maharashtra Housing and Developement Authority or the Maharashtra Buildings Repair and Reconstruction Board will provide transit accommodation to the evicted occupants of the building. In case of a privately-owned buildinge, the corporation will not issue a commencement certificate to the redeveloped structure unless permanent alternate accommodation is provided to the erstwhile occupants of the building or a settlement is arrived at between the occupants and the owners.
Many petitions were filed in the court opposing the guidelines. Individual parties contended that the guidelines would pave they way for builders, developers and landlords to submit reports of private structural engineers to demolish otherwise repairable buildings, and pursue lucrative redevelopment options. The guidelines laid down by the court, however, state that the corporation, before classifying a building as C-1 will carry out independent inspection and assessment of the building and carry out a survey of such buildings. If the structural engineer’s reports of the buildings owners and that of the corporation conflict, the court said, they should be referred to the Technical Advisory Committee. The court has laid down the parameters that the committee will take into account while assessing the condition of the building. The court said that the guidelines will not restrict any parties from approaching the court for necessary relief.
In case of buildings that suddenly collapse, the guidelines state, a committee including a former municipal commissioner, former chief engineer of MHADA and a professor from VJTI and the IIT, Bombay each, will determine the cause of the collapse and fix responsibility. The findings of the committee will not hinder the criminal investigations into the collapse.